Is there a difference between these casual sex relationships? I would like to place my vote on the “Yes” side. In order to cast your own vote, you should probably read on, brave grasshoppers.

The quintessential One Night Stand….probably easiest to define. A single episode of sex (as in one night, one afternoon, one evening) and most likely includes the following: sexual intercourse, alcohol and/or drugs, meeting at a bar or party, and with someone who is a stranger or a brief acquaintance at best. Now of course, everyone knows someone, a ‘friend’ if you will, who had a One Night Stand and they weren’t drunk or they knew the person or they met at someone’s house or they had sex in the morning, twice even, before leaving. Sure, that’s great. I still call that cat a One Night Stand.

As one of my female participants commented: “To me, by definition, it almost ends before it starts.” Agreed. Unless you have sex with that person again on a different occasion. Then maybe this person is your new Booty Call.

Open up the discussion on Booty Calls and things get really interesting. Booty Calls have remained essentially invisible on the sex research horizon up until recently. Defined in the academic literature as: “communication initiated toward a non-long-term relationship partner with the urgent intent either stated or implied, of having sexual activity and/or intercourse.”

Having Booty Calls is a slippery slope: Of participants who reported having ever had one in this study, the average number of Booty Call relationships within the past year was seven. Yes, 7. FYI…men and women had equal numbers of Booty Calls.

Okay, that’s nice, but what does a Booty Call look like in reality? Well, let me walk you through it…

According to my participants, this is someone that you call (read: text) to arrange a sexual liaison (of course my participants didn’t use the word liaison, don’t be crazy) within the next 24 hours. It’s often late at night, no one is sleeping over or moving in the next day. Get in, get off, get out, folks.

Now one of the premises of the Booty Call is that it is not too regular. Do it too many times (don’t be confused, puns are always intended from sex researchers) and now you’re in F*ck Buddy territory.

A F*ck Buddy is someone who you didn’t necessarily know before, but you started having sex (and by sex I mean intercourse) with this person and lo and behold, you’ve become quasi-friends with this person. But you wouldn’t have necessarily become friends with the person if you didn’t have sex with them first.

So for F*ck Buddies…the cart goes in front of those horses. F*ck Buddies are not secretive and end when the two drift apart. “Just goes poof over time” as one of my male participants so eloquently stated.

Interestingly, no academic research on F*ck Buddies. Well, except for mine.

Are we good so far?

Now onto Friends with Benefits…

Now never mind the age old “When Harry Met Sally” can men and women ever really be friends debate. These two are friends first, sex comes after (i.e., this cart comes after that horse). In one study, 60% of students report having been involved in at least one Friends with Benefits relationship in their lifetime.

What makes the Friends with Benefits relationship the most unique is the fact that these two are the most likely to discuss the rules of the relationship. Are we allowed to sleep with other people? Who is allowed to know that we are having sex with each other? Are you going to tell me this is over when you start dating someone else?

So do Friends with Benefits ever really work? Well, my participants said that it can. But the success of a Friend with Benefit relationship rests delicately on a number of factors: no one better coming along, no one getting too attached, no one losing interest, to name a few. Upset any one of these and there is gonna be big trouble in little China.

Now what is the difference between F*ck Buddies and Friends with Benefits? Respect. By far the most important difference between these two relationships was that you have respect for your Friend with Benefit. The same can’t be said for your little F*ck Buddy.

More enlightening excerpts from my participants to come. Stay tuned.

6 Responses to “One Night Stands, Booty Calls, F*ck Buddies, Friends With Benefits…Oh My”

  1. I enjoyed the cart before/after the horse metaphors…helped clarify things for me ;) The pics you used in this posting made me laugh outloud like a fool in my office. Loooove your blog!

  2. Love your sense of humor, girl! Please keep these coming! I just discovered your blog today, love it! :) Best of luck going forward with this!

  3. Very well-written article. I have never experienced any of these situations, and I don’t think I ever could. Not due to any moral compunctions, it’s just simply not my style. I’m too paranoid to jump into the sack with a woman that I just met, as no matter how hot she is, and how horny I may be @ the time, my mind will never be able to stop running through all of the potential Worst Case Scenarios (she might have a disease, she might be a psycho & come after me later, she may have a psycho husband or boyfriend who may come after me later, she might a transsexual, etc., I’m morbid), so One Night Stands are out.

    Can’t do F Buddies, FWB, or Booty Calls either. I’m just too darn emotional for my own good. If I’m having sex with a woman on a semi-regular basis, I’m going to end up feeling something for her, whether I want to or not. But it seems especially likely if she’s a “friend” already. I mean, if were friends, and I like being around her, AND we have good sex together, then why the heck wouldn’t I want to try to start a relationship with her?

    I guess I’m just old-fashioned in that regard.

  4. I’m in a FWB arrangement (I’m female). Saying that it’s difficult is an understatement. It’s difficult to not be jealous. It’s difficult to not become attached. Though him and I keep the drama down about it to a minimal. The rules need to be discussed beforehand so there are no surprises. Also, the “future” of you two needs to be clear and agreed upon. That way both of you know what to expect or not expect. There is some trade offs, some benefits but overall this is not for everyone. :)

  5. Good Afternoon

    Definitely gonna recommend this post to a few friends

  6. I’d be interested to know what percentage of people would prefer a “Making Love Buddy” to a “Fuck Buddy”.

    I find it weird that people accept that you can be loving to strangers, but somehow try to push the possibility of love out the window when it comes to being intimate.

    If you’re a loving person then you can have beautiful intimate experiences with others without the time commitment that a relationship (normal or FWB) might entail.

    I think its time we develop either a new term for Fuck Buddy (or a differentiated term like “Making Love Buddy”) to allow for people who want this type of relationship but don’t want to devalue their partner or to show a lack of respect by calling the person they’re intimate with a Fuck Buddy.

    I’d be very keen to see any research you may wish to do on this.


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